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Thousands Flock to Call Ipswich Home posted on the 8th April 2014

PROUD IPSWICHIANS: Chris Wotton with Jacob, 7, and Makayla, 8, at Robelle Domain yesterday.
Claudia Baxter

QT, Kiri Ten Dolle
7 April 2014

NEW residents Sue and Shane Fox are among a massive migration of more than 758 people per month to call the Ipswich region home in the past year.

The family moved with their sons Tim, 3, and Anthony, 5, from Newcastle last year when Shane was posted to the RAAF base at Amberley where he now works as a safety advisor – and they say they’re here for good.

“We’re building our home in Augustine Heights this year,” Mrs Fox said. “We are very excited about the future of the area. The community is really supportive and it’s a wonderful place to live.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in their latest Regional Growth Population data, the Ipswich Local Government Area (part of the region) grew from 177,771 residents in 2012 to 183,105 last year, the biggest growth (3%) in the Greater Brisbane area.

Springfield Lakes father Chris Wotton had similar affirmations for the region, with development and expansion convincing the mechanical engineer to return to the area after a stint in the mines at Bowen.

“I love the area,” the 33-year-old said. “It’s affordable, clean and vibrant and things are happening.”

The Somerset region was listed as the third fastest growing area in the state, increasing by 3.2%, while the Lockyer Valley recorded increases of 3.1% – well in excess of the Queensland total growth rate 1.9%.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was excited by the future of Ipswich.

Industrial mining towns Weipa (3.8%) and Gladstone (4.1%) recorded the biggest growth in Queensland.

Ipswich’s population is set to surpass 360,000 by 2036, while Ripley Valley is projected to accommodate 10% of south-east Queensland’s population growth within the next 25 years, with a projected growth of 120,000 people.

Federal Government historical figures also predict more than 140,000 new residents are expected to move to central Ipswich and 124,000 to eastern Ipswich, which includes Springfield and Goodna, in the next two decades.

“We’ve created a lifestyle, a safe family environment and job opportunities, as well as our master-planned cities in Springfield and Ripley, which make Ipswich a desirable place to live,” Cr Pisasale said.

“Our big success is the people who have pride in their city.

“We are a welcoming community, a friendly and happy city, and our spirit shone through after the floods.

“But when there is population increase, you need to create more jobs and that’s exactly what our focus is because those cities that don’t, will become a retirement village.”

Cr Pisasale pointed to past developments, such as Riverlink, River Heart Parklands and Icon Tower, installation of Safe City cameras, major investment by developers in Springfield and Ripley and the “big plans” for the CBD, as drivers of the recent population growth.

Meanwhile, Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said he was hopeful the growing population would attract greater investment into his region.

The ABS figures revealed more than 23,200 people now call the Somerset region their home. The Lockyer Valley has 37,650 residents.

Population snapshot

  • Ipswich to exceed 360,000 by 2036
  • Ripley Valley will be home to 10% of SEQ population in next 25 years
  • Springfield Lakes is Ipswich’s largest growth area
Written by Sonia Woolley